The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gearing up for Farmers Market and new commercial kitchen

Jon Morrison's picture
Jon Morrison

Gearing up for Farmers Market and new commercial kitchen



I have been following the blogs for some time.  I am currently baking 6-8 loaves of sour dough bread a week, Pain au levain, San Francisco, PR Poulene 100% whole wheat (5-6 lb loaves) trying to get consistant results.  I have a few questions.


1. When increasing the size of the recipe, does the salt percentage remain the same?  I know that in other recipes it is reduced.


2.  I currently bake in an electric oven with stone and steam from a broiler pan with water and spritzing the loaves.  If I decide to sale at the Farmer Market, I need to be bake in the new commercial kitchen being installed.  It will have a convention oven for baking without steam injection.  Any thoughts on how to get the same thich crust that I get from my regular oven?  Can I still use a pan of water for steam?  THe oven has double doors that open together and I am afraid that I will lose to much heat sprizting the loaves.

3.  Most of PR's recipes call for bread flour,  most of thsi forum is aimed a AP flour.  I made PB's flour blend with both thypes of flour and got great oven spring with both.  Is there an advantage beside protein percentage between the flours?




ericb's picture

1. Salt remains the same. Remember, you're working with baker's percentages, so 2% is 2%, whether you're dealing with 1 pound of flour or 100 pounds. Just make sure you're dealing with weight, not volume.

2. Depending on the size of the commercial oven, you should be able to continue using a broiling pan (or something similar) to maintain moisture (we bakers frequently talk about "steam," but in reality, we're just creating water vapor. A technicality, I know, but one that has been bugging me for a while). It would be best to do a few test runs in that oven. There are all kinds of variables to consider, such as venting (I imagine some commercial ovens have a mechanism whereby you can control this), size of the oven (you will need more "steam" to fill a larger oven), and number of loaves (more loaves will either absorb more moisture or make the oven remain moist longer -- I'm not sure which). Just keep accurate notes when testing and only change one variable at a time.

3. Your decision to use All Purpose or Bread Flour should be based on the texture of the crust and crumb in the final product. If you cannot discern a difference in the loaves you bake, then there is no advantage of one over the other. Whatever you do, be consistent. If you chose A/P flour, then stick with it. You might not be able to tell a difference, but if you abruptly switch to B/F, your customers might ask why you changed your bread!

Good luck with this endeavor, and please keep us posted on how it goes! I have been considering baking for a farmer's market for some time now, so I kind of geek out on all the technicalities. I'm interested to hear how it goes for you.



Jon Morrison's picture
Jon Morrison

Thanks, Eric.  This is going to be an adventure.  The kitchen is probably a month off, then the fun will begins.  I'll share the adventure.



sunflourbaking's picture

I currently bake for a local farmers' market out of my state-approved home kitchen.  I'm curious about the setup of your new commercial kitchen.  Would you mind sharing the details?